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Uncertainty: Theory in the 21st Century Symposium to be held at the Centre for Creative Collaboration

Posted on 13/05/2011
'Symbol of Uncertainty' by John Gilbert

'Symbol of Uncertainty' by John Gilbert

Postgraduate Symposium

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Martin McQuillan (Kingston)

Professor Mark Currie (Queen Mary)



‘The most harrowing contemporary fears are born of existential uncertainty’

– Zygmunt Bauman

We enter the second decade of the 21st Century less certain than ever about who ‘we’ are, where we are heading, or what kind of a society we want to be. This interdisciplinary symposium aims to interrogate the role of theory – literary, political, philosophical and sociological – in an uncertain time. In doing so, it hopes to render the very concept of uncertainty uncertain: that is, to place it under examination in a way that might help us think our way into a more ethically responsible future.

9am – 6pm, 11th June 2011

Centre for Creative Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NG



Provisional Programme


9.00: Registration and Welcome

10.00: Keynote: Professor Martin McQuillan (Kingston)

11.00: Break

11.15: Panel 1: Rethinking Criticism: Theoretical Uncertainty

 ‘Uncertainty and Alan Kirby’s digimodernism’, Joe Barton (Newcastle)

 ‘Theory Without Words: The Invisible Influence of Practical Criticism’, Angus Brown (Oxford)

 ‘In the key of K: identifying states of knowing and not-knowing in relation to aphoristic and disconnected writing styles’, Naomi Wynter-Vincent (Sussex)

12.30: Lunch (own arrangements)

13.30: Panel 2: Representation and Uncertainty

 ‘The Ethical Space of Mourning, Post-Terror’, Allan Rae (Stirling)

 ‘Millennium Approaches: Apocalyptic Representations of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic’, Chisomo Kalinga (KCL)

 ‘Fear of the Unstageable’, Karen Quigley (KCL)

14.45: Break

15.00: Keynote: Professor Marc Currie (Queen Mary, University of London)

16.00: Break

16.15: Panel 3: Beyond Endings: Embracing Uncertainty

 ‘Environment and humanity: a path towards an uncertain relationship’, Marco Bernardini (Reading)

 ‘Pataphysics and the Integral Reality of String Theory’, Marc Özses (Sussex)

 ‘Towards the End of Now: Obsolescence and Futurity in Literary Study’, Aaron Hanlon (Oxford)

17.30: Closing remarks

Attendance is free but places are limited. To book your place, please email 21stcenturytheory@gmail.com by 3rd June.

For more information please see our blog: www.21stcenturytheory.blogspot.com

The symposium is funded by the Royal Holloway English Department and organised by Dan O’Gorman, Deborah Lilley and Xavier Marco del Pont.


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